CBS 11 News reported that a recent state investigation of Estates Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, a Texas nursing home, confirmed that the facility’s neglect caused a resident’s death.  On July 8th Luis Martinez, a resident went missing.  Upon hearing the news his family feared the worst since Martinez suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and relied on a cane to walk.  For 7 long days, Martinez’s wife and children anxiously searched for him until his son stumbled on the sickening sight of his own father’s decomposing body a mere four blocks from the facility.

Sadly the investigation reveled that Martinez’s tragic death was completely preventable, had the facility simply done their job.  Martinez was assessed as being high risk for elopement and often expressed to staff that he planed to leave the “prison.”   Because of this, he was placed on a special floor with added safety precautionsHowever, Martinez was removed from the floor, without assessment, due to overcrowding.  Then Martinez, a know “flight risk”, was placed alone in a new room with a door leading to outside.  Incredible!

The only steps the facility took to ensure Martinez’s safety was placing a wander-guard that would alert them should he leave the facility. Clearly, that was not enough since a wander-guard was found in the trash the night he disappeared.  The administrator of the facility showed no remorse for the incident, commenting that she initially was not worried because she though the family had taken Martinez and even admitting that she knew the wander-guard alert system was “not fool-proof.”   She even bragged that her staff did a “fine job” dealing with Martinez’s disappearance.

Even more maddening, the facility faced no consequences for their neglect and simply had to submit a plan of correction for things to return to normal. The lack of concern and remorse the facility showed and the absence of consequences in such a senseless tragedy is extremely disheartening.

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